Minimaforms (Theo Spyropoulos) et Krzysztof Wodiczko

Vehicle (War Veterans), 2006-2010

Designed by Theodore Spyropoulos in collaboration with the artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, Vehicle proposes a solution for the social and psychological needs of war veterans. This mobile capsule is a hybrid machine object, somewhere between an animal and a human, between the wing of a bird or an insect and fuselage of a flying machine. As was the case with Archigram’s compartment pods, the purpose is to provide a “self-contained environment” that can be transported anywhere like an appendage of the body. The capsule’s sharp, cutting and enveloping forms display a mastery of technology that is nonetheless rather ambiguous. A communication tool for a casualty of war, Vehicle is a powerful statement on the isolation, the fact of being cut off from the rest of the world that a veteran must endure. Indeed, once closed, it becomes a protective shield. Similar to Walter Pichler’s Intensive Box (1967), Vehicle is a space of sensory isolation, one which creates an artificial psychological climate while simultaneously aspiring to connect its occupant with the communication networks of the environment outside. The project asks the question whether interaction between the intimate and the collective is even possible. Like Memory Cloud project (2008), Vehicle is an anti-object, a system to be activated, with no final form. Though provided with wings, Vehicle seems to put an end to the Modernists’ utopian dream of flight that began in 1894 with Otto Lilienthal. It is also a reference to the end of the unity of the subject, with its members enabling flight broken, bogged down by the weight of its militarized wheels evoking the brutality of war. Despite its mobility, Vehicle reminds us of the implacable fact of the body’s weight and the human condition deprived of transcendence or means of escape.

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